Well I saw something that I thought I would never see in Beijing: a blue sky. Clear bright blue with a few fluffy clouds. We speculate that it was caused by the crazy downpour of rain the night before. Suddenly the whole city was transformed into a beautiful vibrant place! The sunlight made an amazing difference. I never liked Beijing more than I did that day.
We've been busy this week going to Olympics. Alex and I saw womens beach volleyball, which was pretty ridiculous, they barely treated it as a sport it felt like- in between games the "beach babes" came out and danced in the sand in bikinis, and they played clips of pop music in between every play. It was ridiculous but a lot of fun. We saw China play and win, and seeing China play is always the most fun thing to see here because the crowd gets so involved. That night we were sad because Lihao left us to go back to New York but he has job interviews to get to. We went and had McDonalds together one last time before he left.
Kailey and I saw mens indoor volleyball, and we had nosebleed 300th row seats where the CCTV desk was blocking part of the left of the court. One of the volunteers asked us if we were bothered by the fact that we couldn't see well, and of couse we said yes, and we got moved across to the other side of the court to the NINTH ROW. I couldn't have picked a better seat if I'd had my pick of the whole stadium. So we watched two full games and cheered for Germany and then for Italy. Then we went back to the Lhama Temple restaurant, which was delicious but then caused me to spend all night puking my guts out, so we are not going back there ever.
Today Alex and I went to see Softball, China vs. Tipai and then Japan vs. Veneswalia. We had pretty good seats, and when it started raining the volunteers gave us free rain ponchos which was very nice. It didn't rain too hard so we still enjoyed the games.
I have to say, the chinese kids who are the Olympic volunteers are wonderful. They are doing a fantastic job. They have all been so helpful and nice, and are very eager to make sure you are getting whereever you need to go. They are in every subway stop, every bus stop, every tourist place in the city. I was in the grocery store with Alex a few days ago, and I must have made a frusterated face (because Alex was taking too long choosing a juice flavor) and there was a volunteer (who must have been off duty, buying groceries) who came up to me and asked if I needed any help. I am very impressed with the great job they've done everywhere.
After softball today we went to the Old Summer Palace, which are in a cool giant park with a big lake and a lot of old stone buildings. We rented a row boat and rowed out to an island on the lake that had ruins on it as well and then explored other parts of the park.
Tomorrow the plan is to go to Happy Valley Amusement Park. It is claimed to be "Beijings answer to Disneyland". I've wanted to go since we got here and finally, on our last day in China, we will go! Then on the 19th in the evening we start the loooooong trip back to the USA.
Alex and I are very VERY excited to come home and eat mexican food. He won't stop talking about burritos every day.